Saturday, March 30, 2013

Morning Six Pack: March 30, 2013

Saturdays without college football don’t have to be hollow. We bring it with these six college football stories from around the country.

Spring football 25: Alabama Crimson Tide

Dr. Saturday will be looking at the 25 most interesting teams headed into spring football through March, examining which programs have the biggest questions, the most expectations and the best storylines

Photos: Illinois football practices at Gately

Nice pix.

Miami is guns up.

Citing massive impropriety by the NCAA and how it handled the investigation of Miami's athletic department, the Hurricanes want the case against them thrown out altogether and formally filed a motion Friday - as did three former assistant coaches - to have the case brought to an end, said a person familiar with the situation.

Collision course - Auburn

Demetruce McNeal always has prided himself on being a physical defender. That won't change. Still, Ellis Johnson believes the rising senior can be more than a simple box safety.

Mississippi State offense tinkers with pro-style look

Bulldogs quarterback Tyler Russell spends roughly half his practice snaps under center, as Dan Mullen tries out new look.


"The guys I played with as a rookie took me under their wing.  How I was taught to play the game was to teach others under you because you need everybody to be good.  That's just part of how it was.  The coaches at Pittsburgh always said when you're done, we'll hire you to coach. My defensive back coach (Ray Horton) became the coordinator at Arizona and he hired me to coach.  That's the way I was brought up.  We always used to say that you're only as strong as your weakest link.  When the young cats came in, we always want them to know what we knew.  That's the way I am.  I want my guys to share everything to make that next guy better.  It's only going to make the whole team better."

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Friday, March 29, 2013

Morning Six Pack: March 29, 2013

Happy Good Friday to all, and to all these six college football stories from around the country.

Tackle John Theus back on field for Bulldogs

Georgia practiced Thursday for two hours in full pads, and joining the Bulldogs for the first time this spring was sophomore right tackle John Theus.

Future bright at Buck with Powell, Fowler

Ronald Powell and Dante Fowler will contend for the starting Buck linebacker position in the fall.

University in Louisiana finds 137 ineligible athletes competed

The university says it will impose penalties such as reducing scholarships, vacating victories and imposing a two-year probationary period on itself while awaiting the NCAA's review of the case.

Vols emphasis still to be basics

When Tennessee's football team returns from spring break next week, the Volunteers will get back to work.

Just… eww.

A former media director for Syracuse University's athletics department has admitted secretly videotaping football players and other male athletes in locker rooms.


But the NCAA has to press on, for two reasons. First is that it does not appear that the NCAA has the authority at this point to dismiss the case. That could come after Miami files its response, which is almost certainly being delayed by Miami’s “motion to dismiss” the case. Given this case’s history, the NCAA needs to follow the exact letter of its rules, which say the next opportunity to end this is by the enforcement staff withdrawing its allegations after Miami submits its response.

Second is that the NCAA is in between a rock and a hard place. Carry on with the case, and Miami is likely to sue them. Drop the case, and Miami is likely to sue them. The former is obvious why Miami would turn to litigation. The latter would be because Miami was essentially tricked by the NCAA into self-imposing two postseason bans and limiting its scholarships on the basis of information the NCAA should not have had.

Getting sued is now a fait accompli for the NCAA.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Morning Six Pack: March 28, 2013

Holy Thursday, it’s almost Friday! Here are six college football stories from around the country.

Suddenly a grizzled veteran, Deion Belue embraces leadership role in Alabama secondary

Belue started all 14 games as a junior-college transfer in 2012. Now, he's showing some of Alabama's newest defensive backs the ropes.

Penn State is looking for depth this spring…

Penn State is still known as Linebacker U. But linebacker few may be a more proper adage this spring.

Steve Spurrier zings Southern Cal and ESPN, and spring has officially arrived.

Hello again, brief former rival Lane Kiffin:

Auburn notebook: Grant hopes to gain opportunity in backfield

Corey Grant barely sniffed the field for the Tigers in a very poor 2012 season.

Trey Millard On Oklahoma's QB Battle

Oklahoma fullback Trey Millard talks about the quarterback battle developing in spring practice.


Birmingham, or I should say, central Alabama residents are crazy about college sports. Mainly college football, but people in that area think, breathe and sleep college athletics like no other place on the planet.

The passion and fanaticism is off the charts, which is why media moguls like Paul Finebaum are voted by Sports Illustrated this month as one of the top influencers in sports media…even though he’s been off the air and out of sight since January.

So with this thought in mind, how in the world is sports radio in this town currently so freaking bad??

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

More BAMS - Mar 28,2013

More BAMS - Mar 28,2013

Get your Bama on with Blip, Bird, Cary Clark, Rock Watts and the Legend. All Bama, all the time.
Mash Taters.

If you're a BAMA fan (and if you're reading this, you probably are), you need to tune in.

Blip and Bird are two really good interviewers. Watts is extremely knowledgable and Legend... well, he's Legendary!

Seriously, give these guys a listen tonight.

Where does all the March Madness money go?

imageInteresting post at, where we get a breakdown of how the NCAA distributes revenue from the annual NCAA Basketball Tournament. Of course, the league retains a hefty portion—roughly $309 million in 2012 if I’m doing the math right. It uses that money to fund its operations. The other $504 million is distributed to the conferences and member schools.

Almost a third—$202 million in 2012—is distributed to the schools with no restrictions in what’s called the Basketball Fund. There are no stipulations on how the money can be used, but it’s a major source of revenue for non-football schools that fund athletic programs in other non-revenue sports.

Here’s what caught my interest, given the current brouhaha over whether student athletes in major revenue sports programs should be paid:

Student Athlete Assistance Fund ($66.1 million): This fund is made up of two separate funds: the Student Athlete Opportunity Fund ($51 million) and Special Assistance Fund ($15.1 million). Any athlete can use the Student Athlete Opportunity Fund even after they no longer partaking due to medical reasons or have surpassed eligibility. Students apply to this fund for a variety expenses. For example, they could apply if they need assistance with graduate school application fees or testing fees.

This piqued my interest because of a post I wrote here in September 2011, explaining how players can get access to thousands of dollars, all in cash, all within NCAA rules, and use it for whatever they want.

Here’s a snippet:

… the Des Moines Register looked at 23 different schools in the Big Ten, Big 12 and Southeastern conferences, and learned that more than 1,000 student-athletes received approximately $5 million in the 2010 academic year. All cash. All tax free. None of it has to be repaid and all of it is within NCAA rules. This is on top of the full ride scholarships the students got. The average player got about $4,500 to spend as he saw fit. Since tuition, books, fees and boarding costs covered by the scholarship, the grant money goes to pretty much anything the kid wants to spend it on.

Including cars with tricked out rims and stereo systems.

Go check out the post, and follow the link to Flint’s excellent article on the subject.

I can’t put my clicker on the email right now—probably lost when I migrated to a new laptop—but Alabama is one of many schools that encourage their student athletes to take advantage of these opportunities, which allows them at least a decent shot at living as well as their classmates.

Which makes the Auburn fans’ constant blathering about bammer suits, cars and rims so entertaining. There isn’t a day that goes by that you don’t see some multi-page thread on Auburn message boards, expressing righteous indignation over AJ McCarron’s new rims, Trent Richardson’s suits or Dre Kirkpatrick’s Dodge Charger; followed by post after post wondering why the NCAA won’t DO SOMETHING!

The truth is, the NCAA is doing something—providing student athletes with the means to get all that swag, yo.

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Morning Six Pack: March 27, 2013

Humping right along on a bitter Wednesday morning with these six college football stories from around the country.

FSU defense learns scheme by watching Bama

Thanks to Bama, FSU could feature more blitzing than previous years

Johnny Manziel leaving Twitter to ‘avoid distractions’ is smart

Do you have Johnny Manziel fatigue yet? If you don’t, you may want to check your pulse. Manziel has self-imposed his own Twitter ban in an attempt to keep his personal life more private.

Aaron Murray sits out scrimmage; Hutson Mason runs Georgia offense

Murray, the senior three-year starter, had an excused absence to receive the "Peach of an Athlete" role model award in Atlanta. The award recognizes excellence on the field, in the classroom and in the community.

USC's Marqise Lee to watch and wait at pro day workout

'My time will come around,' says Lee, who will be a junior in the fall and remains sidelined by a knee injury. He is expected to be a Heisman front-runner and eventual first-round NFL draft pick.

Suspension to continue through spring for ECU’s leading rusher

Not so unexpectedly, East Carolina will continue to be without its leading rusher for the foreseeable future. Running back Vintavious Cooper was arrested earlier this month and charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana.


"You have to play good every snap. Every play is important. Every snap, you've got to have some passion for what you're doing. Just out here milling around, position on the football, all that stuff is going to get you beat."

Stoops was then asked if they got "Angry Coach Stoops."

"They got it. They did," he said. "With them, I try to be positive, I tell them the truth. I'm always going to tell them the truth. There's no games with me, where today is on my calendar to get after them. That's not it. If they need (someone) to get after it, they'll get it."

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Hello, Texas. Arlington likely host for first title game

Sources: Arlington likely host for '15 title game
Published on - College Football | shared via feedly
Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, is a "virtual lock" to host the first championship game in college football's new four-team playoff, sources said.
Wednesday was the deadline to submit bids to host the championship on Jan. 12, 2015, and only the North Texas and Tampa Bay, Fla., communities submitted bids, sources said.
The BCS commissioners will meet April 23-25 in Pasadena, Calif., to officially announce the first championship site and other details about the upcoming playoff.
Mash Taters.

We've been there before.

FWIW, Alabama opens the 2015 season with a matchup against Wisconsin in Sep 2015. What could be better than ending the 2014 season with a national championship and returning to begin defending it nine months later?

Watch us, Texas. Just... Watch us. 

Paul Finebaum agrees to book deal

Paul Finebaum agrees to book deal with HarperCollins for memoir about his radio show
Published on Sports Impact | shared via feedly
Sports-talk radio personality Paul Finebaum has agreed to a major book deal with publisher HarperCollins to co-write a memoir about his popular call-in show, "The Paul Finebaum Radio Network," and its impact on SEC football.

"Primarily, it's about the culture of the show and how the culture of the show interacts with the SEC," Finebaum told "But it does quickly go through my career and how we got to this point.

"There will be commentary on why the SEC is better than everyone else," Finebaum added. "It will certainly talk about the dominance of not only Alabama, but the conference. The (radio) show will be woven in and out of the book, featuring little vignettes on the callers."

This book is a slam dunk to stay on the New York Times Bestseller List for a solid year.

What are the chances that it comes out on or about the start of SEC Media Days?

What are the chances that it talks about bag men, death threats, tree poisoners and whatnot?

Love him or hate him, listened to his show or didn't, there's no denying his influence in shaping opinion on college sports in the southeast. It was probably his show that led to the change-of-heart Rich Rodriguez had when considering the Alabama coaching gig in December 2006. It was probably his show that led to the beginning of the end of the Gene Chizik era at Auburn. Beyond all reasonable doubt, there are coaches, administrators and power players that have either cursed him in church or thanked Providence for his influence.

But it was also his show that led to the fanaticism of people like Harvey Updyke and Mark Green. One of those is about to be imprisoned; the other is on that most unfortunate side of the grass.

People have alternately compared him to Jerry Springer and Mike Wallace. The former due to the circus-like nature of the caller interaction; the former due to Finebaum's well-honed interviewing skills.

With gravitas like that, and with a potential catapult to the same stage as Colin Cowherd, Scott Van Pelt and Dan Patrick looming in the weeks or months ahead, why not pen a book?

What could possibly go wrong?

Research “Trilogy” shines light on O’Bannon case and NCAA amateurism model

Caution: You are about to enter the “No Spin Zone.” This is not exactly light reading, either. If you’re a compliance geek and you’ve been closely following the O’Bannon case, then you’ll find this interesting and informative.

If you’re not familiar with O’Bannon, here are the Cliffs:

Ed O’Bannon is a former UCLA basketball player who sued Electronic Arts and the NCAA over their use of his likeness in video games without compensating him. O’Bannon got former Alabama receiver Tyrone Prothro and others to join his lawsuit, and together they attempted to get their case certified as a class action lawsuit. O’Bannon has the potential to completely unravel the financial model of the NCAA as well as bring an end to their amateurism model as well. It is a case that’s closely followed by the media, the legal community and those who make a lot of money on college athletics.

Dr. Anastasios “Tassos” Kaburakis is a practicing attorney and Professor of Management & Sports Business for the John Cook School of Business at Saint Louis University. This blog as often relied on Tassos for expert guidance on NCAA compliance matters and the law. He’s conducted extensive research into the subjects at the heart of O’Bannon and his publications shed a lot of light on the background, foundation and potential consequences of the case.

Approximately nine years since a fateful meeting in a doctoral student’s office at Indiana University Bloomington, when the seeds were planted for this research stream, it is necessary and somewhat fulfilling to reminisce and reflect on the collaborative work that has taken place. I feel truly fortunate to have run into the research questions graduate students and I handled back then, and immensely grateful for the opportunity to serve conscientious and inquisitive young minds, while developing an empirical legal studies’ line of inquiry, which yields several useful contributions to both scholarship and practice.

Quite a bit has happened since those early days of the initial examination of NCAA student-athletes’ rights of publicity, the use of their likenesses in video games, and the various claims the three participants in that fall 2004 meeting and several coauthors in ensuing work forecasted. After some fundamental intellectual property theory and NCAA amateurism concepts’ analysis and presentations between the time of the initial meeting and the spring of 2009, in an eerie twist of fate, as the first paper from this stream was under review, the first case (Keller) was in fact filed, in May 2009. Weeks later the first part of our trilogy was published, and a few weeks subsequent to our first publication from this stream the O’Bannon complaint followed. Our research team continued working along this intellectual property and empirical legal research stream, and in the fall of 2011 we were happy to receive our second article’s acceptance.

Finally, almost four years since the commencement of the research investigation focusing on video-games’ consumer surveys and NCAA student-athletes likenesses, we have closure. This last paper marks the final part of our trilogy, encompassing the 2009 intellectual property theory piece, the 2012 student-athlete survey empirical article, and the latest manuscript featuring the consumer survey, published this spring. In the process there were a few interesting procedural lessons and insight gained (more analysis on academic research and third-party subpoenas, unretained experts, and scholars rights, will ensue in forthcoming scholarship).

Again, this isn’t light reading at all. But if you’re concerned over how O’Bannon could forever change college athletics, you should take some time to skim the findings. Generally speaking, Tassos believes that the NCAA may ultimately prevail, “if courts are convinced that a generic release signed annually by student-athletes encapsulates the underlying commercial use of their likenesses and identities at the heart of the pending litigation. If, on the other hand, courts hold that the particular use goes beyond what has been regulated by NCAA amateurism policy and embedded in student-athletes’ annual releases heretofore, then plaintiffs’ rights of publicity burden of proof will be partly met (i.e. they did not consent to such use).

This is the result of nine years of extensive research and includes the results of surveys administered to student-athletes and the video game consumer market, along with an extensive empirical legal analysis. I’m only part of the way through it all, but what I found most interesting were the differences between the two surveyed populations. Student-athletes think they should be compensated for the use of their likeness beyond their athletic scholarship, while consumers seem unaware that they aren’t.

Watching O’Bannon unfold will be interesting. More so after understanding the issues and underpinnings of the case.

Here’s the link to Tassos’ article again.

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Morning Six Pack: March 26, 2013

Warming up your Tuesday with these six college football stories from around the country.

With an open mind, Alabama's coaches search for 'best 5' to rebuild offensive line

With three veterans gone, the Crimson Tide is evaluating its options to fill their vacancies during spring practice.

Vols coach Butch Jones set for Cleveland

The Cleveland Rotary Club and Tennessee Sports Radio are answering the June 7 event in nearby Athens, Tenn., featuring Alabama coach Nick Saban speaking to the Chamber of Commerce by having new Tennessee coach Butch Jones in attendance for a "Cleveland Rocks Butch Jones" rally that same night at Bradley Central High School.

AP source: Appalachian State and Georgia Southern joining Sun Belt Conference

Appalachian State and Georgia Southern will join the Sun Belt in every sport except football beginning in 2014. The football programs will join in 2015, making the transition from the FCS to the FBS.

Athlon's top 25 candidates for the 2013 Heisman include two Alabama players

Five of the top 10 candidates reside in the SEC.

Chase Hounshell and Amir Carlisle suffer injuries

Tough injury news to report out of spring practice. The Irish look to have suffered two injuries after Saturday’s first practice in pads


When Adams was hired in 1997 from Centre College in Kentucky, he made clear he would have a say in the handful of positions that have a profound impact on the way Georgia is viewed. The provost and three senior vice presidents fall into that category, as do the athletic director and the head coaches for football and men's basketball.

"You don't have a physics section every day," Adams said. "You have a sports section, and you're usually writing about either football or basketball in large measure. I wanted people in those jobs who shared my values and who thought that protecting the name of the university and doing things right was important, and whose ethics were impeccable."

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Ex-Tide QB Phillip Sims not feeling like himself this spring at UVA

Ex-Tide QB Phillip Sims not feeling like himself this spring at UVA
Published on CollegeFootballTalk | shared via feedly
When former Virginia starting quarterback Michael Rocco announced he was transferring down a level to Richmond to play for his uncle, it was another sign to what was already assumed by many: that Alabama transfer Phillip Sims was the future starter for the Cavaliers.

That could still very well be the case, but as of UVA’s pre-spring depth chart, it isn’t. Sims was listed as the third-string QB behind David Watford and redshirt freshman Greyson Lambert.
Click for the rest of the story.

 Sims left Alabama after losing a battle for the starting QB job to current Heisman candidate AJ McCarron in 2011. Sims' physical gifts made him one of the most highly recruited signal callers in the 2010 class. He redshirted his freshman season and then transferred to Virginia.

We were sorry to see him go--his physical talents and his penchant for being a good teammate and competitor were highly regarded. He never had an ill word to say about anybody or anything, and praised Coach Saban and Alabama when he left. But we understood why he wanted an opportunity elsewhere.

Here's hoping he can make up some distance, get on the field in 2013, and show everyone why he was such a highly touted player.  Good luck and Godspeed, young man.

Morning Six Pack: March 25, 2013

Start the week off right with these six college football stories from around the country.

Cyrus Kouandjio provides a ringing endorsement for Alabama's new 'professional' at center

Ryan Kelly is more "strict" than Barrett Jones, Kouandjio says.

Taking a closer look at Auburn's special teams as Tigers prepare for spring practice

Auburn has plenty of stability in the kicking game, but the Tigers are searching for game-breakers in the return game with the departure of Onterio McCalebb and the uncertainty of the punt-return game.

Upon further review, Notre Dame thinks it's close to Alabama

In the immediate aftermath of losing the BCS Championship, coach Brian Kelly talked about closing the gap between Notre Dame and Alabama, which certainly looked sizable on Jan. 7. Earlier this week, though, Kelly backed off those comments.

SEC coach opines on over-signing rules

When asked if the SEC’s new over-signing rules were working, Vanderbilt football coach James Franklin went in a different direction with his answer.

Bohannon to coach Kennesaw State football team

Former Georgia Tech assistant coach Brian Bohannon is the first head football coach at Kennesaw State.


Of course, the game was not without controversy. Stanford coaches and players argued Garner’s knee was down and the game was over. Officials huddled and determined the play was good.

“I wasn't nervous at all when I stepped out to make the call; maybe I was too dumb,” Referee Charles Moffett said of making the official touchdown call. “Gee, it seems like it was yesterday. Anyway, when I stepped out of the crowd, there was dead silence in the place. Then when I raised my arms, I thought I had started World War III. It was like an atomic bomb had gone off.”

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Johnny Manziel reportedly shoves graduate assistant coach

From the Houston Chronicle:

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, had both an exceptional and occasionally rugged scrimmage on Saturday at Kyle Field — but one play in particular left no doubt Manziel’s competitive fire burns even during spring drills.

Following his last of three interceptions, on a short pass into the end zone as he ran into the right sidelines, an exuberant graduate assistant jumped up and down within what appeared to be inches of an irate Manziel. So Manziel shoved him. Players and coaches, who were all gathered along the sidelines, quickly separated the Giddy GA and Manziel before anything escalated.

Meanwhile the star of the day was last year’s leading receiver, Mike Evans, who time and again looked like a man among boys in collecting more than 200 receiving yards (thanks to intrepid TexAgs statistician Gabe Bock) and two touchdowns on the afternoon.

Click here to view  the original story.

Maybe it’s just me, but this kid is a ticking time bomb. His rise to fame and glory has him—apparently—thinking that he’s special and can get away with almost anything he wants.

This is not the way to build a relationship of trust and unity with his teammates, the coaching staff or the myriad of student and graduate assistants that support the program.

I have a saying that I live by when working on teams to solve difficult problems: “I may well be the smartest person in the room, but the moment I start believing that, we are screwed.”

Meteoric rises are often followed by spectacular crashes back to the cold earth of reality. We might well be witnessing one of those in 2013.

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Morning Six Pack: March 24, 2013

Sippin’ on Sunday Brunch and reading six college football stories from around the country.

Sylvester Croom praises Mal Moore for building 'premier program in college football'

At one time, Sylvester Croom was considered a candidate to become the head football coach at the University of Alabama. Crimson Tide athletics director Mal Moore chose Mike Shula for the job.

Al Golden impressed with Hurricanes after first spring scrimmage

Miami coach Al Golden Golden is wary of making any proclamations in late March. Sure, his Hurricanes looked crisp in their first scrimmage of the spring Saturday at Traz Powell Stadium, and yes, the new coaches melded in well in the dress rehearsal for the Hurricanes' spring game. Was it good to see some young players stand out? Absolutely. But in his three years at the helm in Miami, he's learned not to drown his team in a sea of praise, because increased expectations inevitably follow.

New coach, old RB highlight California spring game

California's first spring game under new coach Sonny Dykes included a touchdown from one of the Bears' former stars.

Georgia Dogs' area duo look to do more

Cornerback Devin Bowman and offensive lineman Watts Dantzler are no longer young up-and-comers on Georgia's football team.

Vanderbilt had a big Saturday

In the span of a few hours, the Commodores picked up three verbal commitments.


Moore was buried by the first-team defense.

"We had a pursuit drill," Rutledge recalled. "The quarterback had to take the ball and roll out to the right or left, and every player on the defense had to put their helmet on him. We'd do that over and over."

Bryant was teaching gang tackling.

"Mal developed the nickname, 'Pursuit Man,'" Brooker said. "I always felt sorry for him."

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Morning Six Pack: March 23, 2013

Good Saturday mornings go better when you start early with these six college football stories from around the country.

It's official: UA trustees approve hiring of Bill Battle as Alabama's new athletics director

Two days after Mal Moore stepped down, Alabama has its man locked up and ready to take over.

Positional battles to watch: Special teams

This is the fourth of an 8-day series previewing each Auburn position leading into spring football.

Cards assistant Hurtt placed on leave as he preps for Canes case

Louisville defensive line coach Clint Hurtt has been placed on administrative leave while preparing to answer allegations of violations the NCAA says he committed while he was a Miami Hurricanes assistant.

Jerry Sandusky Jailhouse Interviews to Be Aired on NBC’s ‘Today’ Show

NBC plans to air excerpts of jailhouse interviews with former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky next week that were given to a documentary filmmaker working on a defense of Joe Paterno.

Florida State: QBs bring different traits, qualities to unique four-man battle

One by one, the quarterbacks sauntered into the room. Each had his own characteristics, his own individual quirks.


"As honored as I am to stand before you, I would much rather, I promise you, be out in radio, newspaper or TV land watching this press conference with Mal Moore standing here, telling us what his plans are for the next year," Battle said.

When Moore is healthy enough to check out of the hospital and get back in the office, he will serve as a special assistant to UA president Judy Bonner. On Thursday, he was also named Athletics Director Emeritus.

"Even though we lost a valuable statesman for the university in Mal Moore, he will continue to be with us as a part of the university," Alabama football coach Nick Saban said. "We look forward to continuing to work with Mal."

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Morning Six Pack: March 22, 2013

Don’t cry if your bracket is already destroyed. Drown your sorrows with these six college football stories from around the country.

Condredge Holloway praises Alabama's selection of his former coach, Bill Battle, as new AD

Bill Battle made a bold move in 1970, recruiting Condredge Holloway to Tennessee, where he'd become the first African-American quarterback in the Southeastern Conference.

LSU tight end Travis Dickson excited about new offense

Dickson in three-way battle for starting job.

Gene Stallings talks Mal Moore, Bill Battle and the player he coached most like Johnny Manziel

Stallings praised Moore for all he has done in Tuscaloosa, then said Alabama couldn't have made a better choice in his replacement than Battle.

Jarvis Jones has boring pro day

Thursday was supposed to the Jarvis Jones show for Georgia’s pro day. But he didn’t exactly have the best of days. Jones decided not to participate in last month’s NFL Combine, making his pro day all the more important.

Positional battles to watch: Defensive line

This is the third of an 8-day series previewing each Auburn position leading into spring football.


"He's a top notch guy - a good football player, a good football coach," Manning said. "But he's very successful in business. He took a company and took it to the top. He'll do a great job. He'll just pick right up with what Mal's been doing. They've got a great program.

"He's a good man, he really is.''

Manning emphasized the importance of dual experience, both as a player and coach and as a successful businessman.

"Those days of just elevating a former coach, a kind of good ole boy, I think those days are over,'' Manning said. "I'd say Bill's playing days and coaching days aren't as valuable to him there as his business days. They made a good choice."

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

University of Alabama president to recommend hiring of Bill Battle as new athletics director

University of Alabama president to recommend hiring of Bill Battle as new athletics director
Published on Sports Impact | shared via feedly
TUSCALOOSA, Alabama -- University of Alabama president Judy Bonner will recommend the hiring of Bill Battle as the athletic department's new athletics director, according to a university press release. 
Battle, a former player under coach Paul "Bear" Bryant who was the head coach at Tennessee during the 1970s, will replace Mal Moore, who stepped down Wednesday because of health issues.

Alabama's Board of Trustees will meet via conference call Friday at 10 a.m. to vote on the recommendation.
He doesn't look a day over 50.

Morning Six Pack: March 21, 2013

Aaaachooo! Hack. Sneeze. Wheeze. Ahh, relief from allergies in the form of six college football stories from around the country.

Driskel growing in confidence, command

Florida junior quarterback Jeff Driskel is a different player this spring. He's calmer, more confident and finally comfortable with himself and the UF offense.

Michigan’s leading tackler sidelined indefinitely with torn ACL

Yep, Michigan fans. You can say it: Ugh. The Wolverines announced Wednesday that 2012′s leading tackler, linebacker Jake Ryan, is out indefinitely with an ACL tear he sustained during Tuesday’s practice.

SMU adds former Kentucky coach Hal Mumme to staff

Hal Mumme joined the staff of SMU coach June Jones on Wednesday, bringing together two men behind some of the most prolific passing offenses in NCAA history.

Ole Miss’ search for a backup quarterback isn’t going as well as it hoped

With starter Bo Wallace out this spring while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, the offensive onus has been on senior Barry Brunetti and sophomore Maikhail Miller and neither has seized the reins.

How long will Tennessee’s welcomed momentum last?

The program Butch Jones inherited in December was in complete shambles, but he is changing the perception of Tennessee football and has breathed life into an exhausted fan base and program.


It's an annual rite of passage: Saban bemoans his team's lack of professionalism; his team responds. His ability to push all the right buttons with a five-star laden roster is what keeps Alabama's stove piping hot despite the team's nearly unprecedented run of success over the last half-decade.

Most of all, however, Alabama develops talent better than any team in college football. Personnel development is the team's biggest point of emphasis during spring drills, Saban said Saturday.

"The main objective to me for spring practice is to focus on player improvement," he said. "Whether it is what a player needs to be able to do, the technique of how he should do it and to have an understanding conceptually of why it is important to do it that way."

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Quotables: Commentary on Mal Moore from around the web

imageMoore’s legacy “will be somewhat (tied to Saban), but there’s so much more than that,” Espy said. “We were going through a down time and (Moore) was able to go out and raise millions of dollars to improve the facilities. Those facilities probably had a lot to do with us being able to land coaches like Saban and (men’s basketball coach Anthony) Grant. He supported Sarah Patterson and the gymnastics program and look what it became. He raised up the entire athletic department and deserves a lot of credit for the success that’s taking place now. I think we won four national championships last year, another football championship this year.”

* * *

Moore deserves praise for the recent run of football championships, for the three women's NCAA titles that UA programs won in the spring of 2012. He deserves respect for being a gentleman, a classy representative of Alabama, a calm but strong voice in the Southeastern Conference. Moore's tenure wasn't perfect - no AD has a perfect tenure, because no athletic department wins all of the championships in all of the sports all of the time - but he leaves Alabama a stronger program than the one he inherited. There will be an outpouring of honors and accolades forthcoming that recognizes that progress, an outpouring that has already started. Anyone can see why respect is merited.

* * *

"Mal Moore has left an indelible mark on the University of Alabama," Arkansas AD Jeff Long said, "much like Frank Broyles has done here. The Crimson Tide athletic program has achieved tremendous success under Mal's leadership."

* * *

The crowning achievement of Moore's tenure might just be the hiring of Saban, who has led Alabama to three national championships over the past four years, but Saban was quick to deflect that place of prominence on Moore's highlight-filled timeline.

"I think most things that you would stand here and look around here and see, he’s had some hand in making all the athletic facilities what they are, I think first class in so many ways," Saban said. "More than that he’s a class gentleman, probably as fine as you’ll ever meet, and he’s certainly been a good friend, and his support has certainly been appreciated."

* * *

Moore serves as the strongest sinew connecting Alabama football today with the Bear Bryant Era. For 46 of the past 55 years, Moore has served as a student-athlete, assistant coach or administrator at Alabama.

Think of it -- Moore has won 10 national championship rings as a player (1961), assistant coach (1964, '65, '73, '78, '79 ,'92) and boss (2009, '11, '12). That takes care of his fingers. When Moore recovers from his lung ailment and begins his tenure as special assistant to the university president, Dr. Judy Bonner, he can begin on his toes.

* * *

He doesn't have too much Bama in him. He has just the right amount, and he never felt the need to draw attention to the mutual respect and affection shared by the man and his school. You spend part of six decades of your life at a place, from the start of your journey to adulthood into the later years of your career, that place becomes more than your alma mater and your employer.

It becomes your family. Your home.

* * *

He led a building boom during a recession, twice expanding Bryant-Denny Stadium and transforming the 74-year-old facility into a 101,821-seat palace, one of the jewels of college football.

In the Mal M. Moore Athletic Facility, a building that was renamed in his honor on March 28, 2007, he worked in a corner office that overlooks the football practice facilities and the newest addition to the kingdom: a $9 million, 37,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art weight room that opened in February.

"He'll leave a legacy of accomplishment on the facilities, in getting the university through some difficult times," Steve Townsend, a former associate athletic director, said in a 2009 interview.

* * *

Without Moore’s dogged support of all things Saban and the program (have you seen the new football facilities?), the Tide isn’t nearly as successful. There’s a reason Saban hasn’t looked back at the NFL since arriving in Tuscaloosa.

Everything he wants is in the college game. And he can thank Moore.

Now the university can thank Moore, too – with a bronze statue in the Walk of Champions. For a true champion of Alabama athletics.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Roll Mal Roll!

Per a University of Alabama release today:

imageThe University of Alabama announced today that Coach Mal Moore will step down as athletics director, effective March 20, 2013, to become special assistant to President Judy Bonner.

“Mal Moore is Crimson Tide sports,” said Bonner. “During his tenure as athletics director, our student athletes have experienced unprecedented success in every aspect of their careers at UA, on the field of play and in the classroom. His contributions to UA athletics on every level are unsurpassed. And, while he will no longer be in charge of day-to-day operations, I am so pleased that we will continue to be able to rely on his wisdom and expertise going forward.”

“As many of you may know, due to factors related to my health, I am at a point that I can no longer fulfill my duties as athletics director in the true championship manner the position requires,” said Moore. “While I have to focus on my health issue, I look forward to maintaining an ongoing working relationship with this great University as special assistant to Dr. Bonner. I know I can count on each of you to continue your unequaled support for me and The University of Alabama.

“I cannot adequately express what the University means to me. It has been a part of my life for more than 50 years, and I feel honored to have served the Crimson Tide as a player, coach and administrator. I am so appreciative of the University administration, coaches, staff, student-athletes and fans who have made my tenure as director so very meaningful, memorable and special.”

A 1963 graduate of The University of Alabama, Moore earned both an undergraduate degree in Sociology and a 1964 master’s degree in Secondary Education from the Capstone. The University of Alabama’s director of Athletics since 1999, Moore was a football player under legendary Crimson Tide head coach Paul W. “Bear” Bryant from 1958-62 and went on to serve as an assistant football coach on Bryant’s staff. Moore has the distinction of being a part of 10 national championship football teams as a player, coach and athletics director.

In 2011, he was elected to the State of Alabama Sports Hall of Fame for his accomplishments as a coach and an administrator. After the completion of the 2011-12 academic and athletic seasons, Moore was named the winner of the John L. Toner Award, given by the National Football Foundation and the Hall of Fame to the nation’s best athletics director.

In addition to making his mark on Alabama, Moore also had a national impact as a key member of several prestigious NCAA and college football committees. He has served on the NCAA Division I Football Issues Committee, the SEC Athletics Directors Bowl Advisory Committee and the Big Six Conferences Minority Coaches Forum.

Moore’s successor as athletics director will be named as quickly as possible.

Absolutely no one loves Alabama like Mal Moore loves Alabama.

During the athletic departments darkest days; during its nearly 15 year wandering of the wilderness, Moore put together one of the finest staffs in the country, and became the university’s most prolific advocate, cheerleader and fundraising.

Because of his leadership, Alabama athletics stands at the top of the world. Its football team, gymnastics team and softball team are the class of the country. No one has better athletic facilities or better academic support organizations.

Alabama is a greater academic and athletic institution today because Coach Moore was named Athletic Director in 1999, and his five decades of service, love and dedication to this great University will leave an indelible impact.

We have been blessed.

Roll Mal Roll.

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Morning Six Pack: March 20, 2013

Can you really stand an egg on its end today? Or should you just crack and enjoy it with these six college football stories from around the country?

Big East, ESPN enter multiyear media rights deal

Financial terms were, not surprisingly, absent from the release from the Big East.

Humphries is Stronger, Anzalone Out Rest of Spring, More Tidbits

Gators sophomore offensive lineman D.J. Humphries arrived at UF in January 2012 with the kind of accolades that made some wonder if he would start from day one.

Kelly says QB Kiel no longer part of Irish program

Didn’t have the “chest.”

Jimbo Fisher downplays staff changes as spring practice begins

Florida State opens spring practice on Wednesday, and Jimbo Fisher previewed things in a long press conference Monday.

Lattimore will attend pro day at South Carolina

Running back Marcus Lattimore plans to show off the progress in his injured right knee at South Carolina's pro day next week.


“He just hit me with a little counter inside head fake and went back out,” Richardson recalled. “That was really his bread-and-butter the whole game. I just kinda got lazy with my footwork that play and he beat me. It was the fourth quarter and we were moving down the field pretty quick. I thought I was in the groove of things but just for some reason, he got me. He is a big-time player.”


“I have it marked on my calendar [Oct. 19 in Knoxville] when we play them again,” Richardson said. “It’s going to be a good challenge for me. He is, hands down, the best defensive end in the nation. I took responsibility for that play last year.

“I was really disappointed. Of course, you want to be 100 percent but also because that is when the game was on the line, and big-time players have to make those plays when the game is on the line. That was just a little technique flaw by me. Little things like that are what makes the difference. I just can’t do that.”

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Remember, Texas… Pride goeth before destruction

And a haughty spirit before a fall.

It was Texas’ arrogance and unwillingness to play well with others that sent Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska and Texas A&M to other conferences. It was their stubborn greed with the Longhorn Network that even had Oklahoma considering a conference change.

Texas’ arrogance eventually led to the ouster of Dan Beebe, who was widely regarded as the most competent and accommodating conference commissioner that the Big 12 had seen in decades.

Head Coach Mack Brown—solidly stuck in the twilight of his career—is slowly strangling the life out of the football program with pitiful on-the-field performance and even worse recruiting. He refuses to step aside, foolishly believing that all is well and prosperity is but a few footsteps away.

If only Colt McCoy hadn’t been hurt, right Longhorns?

One would think that after having done almost everything wrong and finding yourself standing on the edge of the abyss of irrelevance, you would see the error of your ways, repent, and turn to the light.

Not Texas.

That interview is so full of delusional statements, it’s hard to pick just one that stands out.

“They left,” Dodds said about renewing the Texas – Texas A&M rivalry. “They're the ones that decided not to play us. We get to decide when we play again. I think that's fair.”

Really? Texas A&M hasn’t changed addresses. They haven’t gone anywhere—they just upgraded their conference affiliation and put themselves in a better position to compete for national championships. And this “my way or the highway” attitude is just what drove A&M away.

“If you walk through it, the Pac-12 truthfully has no place to go to pick up teams, except the Big 12,” Dodds said. “The SEC and the Big 10 can pick up teams but it's only probably the ACC teams, maybe the Big East.”

Mark these words. When Oklahoma and Oklahoma State see what success A&M and Mizzou enjoy and start entertaining an offer from Mike Slive to expand the SEC footprint north and west, what becomes of the Big 12?

“The Big 12 is a tougher road to get [to the BCS title] than the SEC because of their scheduling abilities.”

This is laughable. The Big 12 is now Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas State and a bunch of patsies that SEC teams would probably host for homecoming. That’s why a one-loss Big 12 team is out of the running for the BCS Championship. The SEC is a meat grinder, which is why a one-loss and even a two-loss SEC team can get in.

Traditionally, Texas has thrived on an annual harvest of top in-state prospects, with occasional raids from Oklahoma and LSU. Now though, LSU, Texas A&M, Alabama and others are making inroads and landing top recruits. It used to be that Texas got whoever they wanted and anyone else had to take the leftovers. That’s not true anymore.

For 2013, Texas pulled in the 17th ranked class in the country. Texas A&M had a consensus Top 10 signing class. Seven of the SEC’s 14 members signed better classes. There were no Big 12 schools ranked in the Top 10. Oklahoma had the 16th best class, according to the 247Sports’ consensus rankings.

But this begs another question—after many years of cleaning up Texas high school prospects and locking down the state, why has Texas only been to the national championship game twice?

Texas was once relevant, which explains some of the haughtiness carried by Dodds, Brown and the horde of Longhorn fans. They no longer have reason to be so arrogant. They are sliding into the abyss, and dragging the rest of the Big 12 with them.

Pride goeth before destruction. And a haughty spirit before a fall.

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Morning Six Pack: March 19, 2013

March Madness is something we pretend to be interested in while waiting for spring football news. So… Here are six college football stories from around the country.

Crimson Tide Practices Indoors on Monday

The University of Alabama football team went through its second practice of the spring on Monday in shorts and helmets for roughly two hours inside the Hank Crisp Indoor Practice Facility.

NCAA suspends two recruiting rules

The Division I Board of Directors Monday suspended two of the 25 pieces of legislation it adopted in January, responding to extensive membership feedback that despite the benefits of the proposals, the new rules could have a negative impact on prospects and their families, college coaches and administrators.

Tennessee sends recruit 102 letters in one day, three off Nick Saban's pace

"I was thinking there was no way these came from the same school. But I kept pulling on them and I thought the mailbox was going to break, but when I got them out I found out that all 102 of them were from Tennessee! It was crazy.

.College Recruiting: You never know what to expect next with LSU's Les Miles

You never know what to expect with LSU football coach Les Miles – which is what makes him so much fun to follow…

Ex-Wolverine arrested for drug trafficking

Former Michigan receiver Jerald Robinson faces felony drug charges in Ohio after a traffic stop revealed he was transporting 447 grams of marijuana, according to the Lorain County Sheriff's Department.


“They left,” Dodds said. “They’re the ones that decided not to play us. We get to decide when we play again. I think that’s fair. If you did a survey of our fans about playing A&M, they don’t want to. It’s overwhelming. I know. I hear it. Our fans are important to us. I think there’s got to be a period where things get different. I think there’s too many hard feelings.”

The future remains uncertain for the two schools meeting again on the gridiron. The Aggies have moved to greener pastures while Texas claims to have a full out of conference schedule for some seasons to come.

“I think we’ll play sometime,” Dodds said. “I don’t know when it will happen or how it will happen, but I’m sure it will happen.”

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Morning Six Pack: March 18, 2013

Wait, what? Oh, it’s you again, Monday. Well, try these six college football stories from around the country.

Shoulder surgery to limit Tide’s Mosley this spring

Back in December, C.J. Mosley announced that he would be eschewing an early jump to the NFL and returning for his senior season at Alabama. A full-time return for the linebacker, is a little bit further down the road.

Troy Trojans open spring football practice on Thursday

Trojans' T-Day spring game is scheduled April 20 at 11 a.m.

Brady Hoke: 'I don't know if we'll ever be where we want to'

Brady Hoke has high standards. He made that clear at his introductory press conference a few years ago, and he refers to a season without a Big Ten championship as a failure

Georgia LB Wilson eager to step up into starting role

In his two seasons at Georgia, linebacker Ramik Wilson has played sparingly, but one particular moment stands above all others in his mind.

PSU QB race starts Monday as spring ball begins

The quarterback race at Penn State begins Monday, though coach Bill O'Brien says he won't name a starter by the time spring practice ends in a month.


The arrival of spring football is always heralded in the state of Alabama as the start of football’s “third season,” following the actual schedule and the two months when recruiting feels like a competitive endeavor in and of itself.

But this has been no ordinary offseason in Tuscaloosa. While there has been no earth-shattering news of despair (read: NCAA trouble), Alabama has still suffered a few cuts and bruises thanks to the alleged actions of a handful of its now-former football players. The basketball team then kicked in its two cents by dropping a game to abysmal Auburn on the road – likely taking itself out of the March Madness sweepstakes right then and there. And unfortunately, real life crept into the picture as well, as Alabama Athletic Director Mal Moore remains hospitalized with an unspecified illness.

Given what’s on the table – especially relating to the news specific to Moore – football is little more than a distraction. But it’s an important distraction to most Alabama fans, who will likely again pack Bryant-Denny Stadium for A-Day, at its heart a glorified practice.

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Morning Six Pack: March 17, 2013

Sippin’ your St. Patrick’s Day Sunday brunch with these six sexy college football stories from around the country.

Four Alabama players open spring at new positions, but moves aren't considered permanent

Cyrus Jones, Christion Jones, Xzavier Dickson and Dee Hart were all on the move as Alabama opened spring practice.

USC’s leading rusher to undergo surgery, miss rest of spring

After transferring from Penn State last summer, Silas Redd led USC in rushing in his first season with the Trojans. An injury, however, will prevent the running back from finishing his first spring practice with the team.

LSU center Elliott Porter out until later in spring, Les Miles says

LSU Coach Les Miles Friday said starting center Elliott Porter has a "medical issue" that has kept him out of practice during the first two days of spring. He said he expects Porter to return at some point during the spring drills which end with the spring game April 20.

Riggs gets rough at open spring practice

The Florida football team put on their pads for the first time Saturday, which was the second of two open practices to the media and public.

Sooners G Evans re-injures knee, may be done

Evans tore his right ACL in fall camp last August, using a redshirt for the 2012 season during his rehabilitation. The injury, which Evans suffered during a noncontact drill on Tuesday, will require a second surgery.


"Until we got into the offseason program and sort of got a handle on things, we did not respond as well as we'd like with this group. But I think they've made a tremendous amount of improvement," Saban said. "I think we had more guys miss class, more issues, the first behavioral issues we've had with the guys who got in trouble that we've had in five and a half years. A lot of little loose-ended things. When guys have entitlement, you see a little slippage."

Saban referenced four players arrested on felony charges in the offseason, three for second-degree robbery, have been dismissed and are no longer enrolled. Linebacker C.J. Mosley said a team meeting was held soon after to discuss the entitlement issues Saban spoke of. But once the Fourth Quarter program began, Mosley said the team found it easier to focus on improvement.

"We just didn't have all of that off time anymore. We could just go to class and get ready for football," he said. "Once you have football, it occupies most of your day. We just have to make sure we keep grinding."

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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Morning Six Pack: March 16, 2013

No quip. Just bringing it with six college football stories from around the country.

Kevin Sumlin’s family vacation photo includes a large fish apparently in mid-meal

This is photobombing at its best here. Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin went on a family vacation, as coaches should do during the offseason. And he posted a really nice picture with two of his children at Orange Beach Marina.

Wisconsin Reloads at RB With Montee Ball Gone

Wisconsin opened spring practices this month with Montee Ball watching nearby — an odd experience for someone who had been a fixture in the Badgers' backfield since 2009.

Lamin Barrow is a central figure in Tiger linebackers' shell game

Barrow could move to the middle spot from the weakside.

Alabama football: Tide to open drills with emphasis on line

Two-time defending national champion Alabama will open spring drills this afternoon on Thomas-Drew Field in Tuscaloosa, and while many of the popular faces return, key positions on both sides of the line of scrimmage will have to be replaced.

“That group has transformed."

When Dabo Swinney looks at Clemson's competing defensive ends, he can hardly believe his eyes.


Alabama's title was its third in four seasons -- a feat not even Bear Bryant accomplished -- and AJ McCarron became the first Crimson Tide starting quarterback to win two national crowns. McCarron was among several players asked after that game if Alabama had established a dynasty, but he wasn't about to talk in that regard.

Not with a senior year remaining.

"You're trying to get me in trouble," he said, smiling. "You need to ask our guys who are leaving. The younger guys aren't going to use that. Coach Saban is like my dad, and I know his thought process.

"If the older guys say it, I guess they can say it."

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Morning Six Pack: March 15, 2013

Beware the Ides of March, but enjoy these six college football stories from around the country.

Five questions entering SEC spring practices: Vanderbilt

Expectations are high with 16 starters returning from school's first nine-win team since 1915.

Arkansas' Knile Davis out to prove health, talent

Perhaps more than any of the workout participants, Davis is a wild card entering today's on-campus pro day and next month's NFL draft.

Darreus Rogers happy to be practicing

Former star receiver from Carson wasn't allowed to enroll until after the 2012 season.

Beech's Hurd says UT was the place for him

Jalen Hurd, one of the nation’s top-rated football recruits, hopes by committing to Tennessee now he will help to bring others like himself to Knoxville in the Class of 2014.

Derrick Crawford, NCAA director of enforcement and Bama grad, talks investigations, perceptions

"When I first came to the staff years ago as a University of Alabama graduate - and we certainly had our issues in infractions cases - I had this perception that enforcement was out to get us."



There's the way current Alabama football coach Nick Saban reminds Jordan of his Crimson Tide coach, Paul "Bear" Bryant.

"I'm a die-hard Nick Saban fan," Jordan said, "because he's teaching the same things that coach Bryant taught 50 years ago to us guys about honesty and integrity and discipline and teamwork and those kind of things. He's teaching these guys, just like coach Bryant always said, the game of life, not just the game of football. If you apply those things in your life and your profession, you'll be successful no matter what business you're in.

"You know there's 90-something percent of the players that go there for an education are not going to be professional football players. So they've got to help us with our communities and our cities and our states and be responsible citizens and do well in business and life. I think coach Saban is getting that across just like coach Bryant did."

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Should the NCAA regulate how much Alabama spends on athletics?

There is an interesting, albeit unpersuasive opinion piece by Daniel Hare at arguing that college athletics spending is out of control and that some form of regulation needs to be imposed to stop the arms race between major college programs.

Nearly a year ago, this article asked, how much is too much when it comes to spending on college football?  Assuming the answer is whatever they’re spending now, the next question is how to reform it.  I have a thought.  What if there was a cap on the amount of money universities could spend on college athletics?  Think about it.  University presidents and other observers are constantly decrying the “arms race” that exists today, yet nothing is done.  The reason: presidents know (or suspect) their counterparts are going to keep on spending and gaining a competitive advantage, and no president is going to risk crippling their athletic programs and alienating the alumni base.

But what if there was an NCAA rule which capped the amount of money you could spend each year?  Or perhaps a luxury tax imposed on those who spend over the cap?

A policy like this would allow presidents to put athletics spending on a more sustainable path, without the risk that competitors are going to exploit it and surge past their teams on the field.  It would help address the concerns faculty and other constituents have about spending at the expense of academics, including the public relations problem of increased athletic spending at a time of shrinking state appropriations and rising tuition for students.  Capping spending also means more schools would have the opportunity to compete for championships.  This is a big one.  Our country’s most popular sport by far, the NFL, has a hard salary cap to help provide all its teams with a realistic shot at taking home the trophy.  Even Major League Baseball, which doesn’t have a salary cap, has a luxury tax that teams must pay if they go over the spending threshold.

This is a step on a slippery slope, and it only leads to a mucky, stinky mess on the bottom. Any time someone says they have a plan to make something “sustainable,” it should set off alarms in your head.

Free markets are never “unsustainable,” and anyone who tells you differently doesn’t understand even the most basic principles of capitalist economics.

The last thing in the world college athletics needs now is a new regulatory regime. The US is in an economic quagmire with an anemic economy, persistent high unemployment and an overall lack of growth. The only really strong “growth industry” is college athletics, which has resulted in a long term construction and hiring boom on every major college campus in the country. Why would anyone want to choke that off by arbitrarily imposing a limit on how much money can be freely given and spent to build top-notch facilities, hire the best coaches, assistants and administrators and fuel the local economies?

To make things more fair?

The author compares the budgets of the University of Texas and Lousiana-Monroe, and suggests that somehow, it’s unfair for ULM to have to compete with Texas for the same trophies.

No one expects mid-majors and directional schools to field programs that consistently play for national championships in revenue sports like football and basketball.

In the 2010-2011 academic year, the University of Alabama spent about $31.6 million on athletics. That included spending for facilities, salaries, travel expenses, security, equipment and other line items. Almost all of that went right back into local, state and regional economies, which generated income for thousands of people in Alabama. It helped to strengthen local tax revenues and helped the state keep from slashing appropriations for higher education even deeper than they’ve had to, and probably helped keep student tuition from climbing even faster than it has.

Back on the slippery slope metaphor—what exactly do you limit in spending? Is it salaries for coaches and administrators? Is it a cap on recruiting budgets? What about how much you can spend on state-of-the art training facilities, dining halls and academic centers?

As soon as you come up with a laundry list of things you want to cap, some enterprising athletic department will find another way to gain an advantage. That of course leads to even more regulations, more loopholes to exploit and more enterprising ways of getting the edge on the competition.  This won’t end well.

In the 1970’s, our enlightened federal government decided to fight inflation by instituting a regime of price and wage controls in a noble, yet fruitless effort to combat persistent inflation. That led to employers offering candidates a suite of fringe benefits, including health insurance. That led to removing the consumer’s budget constraints from pricing in the healthcare market, and now we have the most expensive healthcare market in the history of expensive healthcare markets.

In the 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s, that same enlightened government decided to force banks and S&L’s to lend money to homeowners with poor credit histories and demographics known by lenders to be high risk and then guaranteeing payment of principle and interest to investors. That of course led to the 2007-2008 financial meltdown that wrecked the economy and directly led to the economic malaise that we’re in now.

History shows that the more you try to regulate, the more damage you end up doing through the Law of Unintended Consequences. Don’t believe me? Well, have you seen the NCAA manual? Have you ever seen the Code of Federal Regulations? There ain’t a whole bunch of difference between the two, and both take a bunch of pointy headed bureaucrats to decipher and interpret them.

The best solution is to do nothing at all. Let the bigger institutions raise and spend what they want. Let the smaller institutions do what they can to keep up. Eventually, the most enterprising and richest schools will break off from the current NCAA membership and form their own system. History also shows that in free market systems, those who invest and take risk are rewarded. College sports is a business, and the best solution to a business problem is always a free market.

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Morning Six Pack: March 14, 2013

Thirsty, thirsty Thursday. You might as well get started early: Here are six college football stories from around the country.

Finally, an EDSBS post I can use, since this blog gets links from family sites, SPENCER AND BUNKIE.

See, this is what happens when you take the restraints off of the recruiting process...without checks and balances, state schools in the ACC start using high level math and basic economic principles of supply and demand to draw in recruits.

Defensive tackle depth becoming real concern for Vanderbilt

James Franklin and Vanderbilt were relying on their most experienced defensive tackle in Jared Morse. But yesterday Franklin informed the media that Morse is no longer on the team at this time.

Bowling Green opens spring practice in the snow

Bowling Green opened up spring practice in the snow on Wednesday. The Falcons took the field at Doyt Perry Stadium with flurries coming down, as preparation for 2013 are under way.

Suspended Miami LB Eddie Johnson no longer enrolled in school

After suspending Eddie Johnson early last month, Miami head coach Al Golden stated he was “hopeful” for the linebacker’s return to the team. While that may ultimately be the case, those prospects certainly aren’t looking good…

Proposed bill says Arkansas, ASU football game should happen

Two members of the Arkansas House of Representatives introduced a bill yesterday that would require a game between Arkansas and Arkansas State to be played at War Memorial Stadium.


What are the most important blogs in the SEC? More to the point, what are the most important non-Alabama blogs in the SEC? Why did we not include Alabama blogs on this list? Simple, Alabama fans who visit this site likely already read the excellent Alabama blogs. If not, then you should check out the indefatigable I Bleed Crimson Red, the indomitable Bama Hammer, the influential Roll Bama Roll and for basketball the insightful and perseverant (and there have been lots of difficult times lately) Bama Hoops.

The criteria for our list? Be useful, informative and have a unique voice. Also, have content we want to read.

[ed note: I’m getting too damned old to be called ‘indefatigable,’ but I ain’t gonna quit until they roll me out feet first.]

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Clone Wars: Fisher trying to emulate Master Obi Wan Saban

Jimbo Fisher: We've got our infrastructure set up like Alabama
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Jimbo Fisher and Nick Saban worked together at LSU for five years, so Fisher knows how Saban builds success.

It takes great players, but it also takes great people at every spot.

While on KFAN in Minneapolis, Fisher was asked how anyone beats Saban, and why he's so successful.

"We beat them my first year we were at FSU," Fisher said. "I went against him every day in practice. We were together for five years. He's done a great job of organizing. He's got the structure. People don't realize he's got the infrastructure really stet up.

"That's why we've been able to make our jump at Florida State. We've got our infrastructure set up where can keep replacing guys, and I think we'll be in that national title hunt every year, just like they are. But he's done a great job."
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Fisher's Seminoles went 12-2, won the ACC Championship and got a BCS Bowl win in 2012. That's successful by any standard. But there were also disapppointments along the way, including a mind-numbing second half collapse in the 17-16 loss to NC State (after leading at halftime 16-0) and an equally disheartening 4th quarter collapse at home against in-state rival Florida.

The NC State loss showed that the program has some growing to do in the areas of discipline and focus, and the Florida loss shows that even with Florida State being the cream of the ACC crop, they've still got aways to go before they can be considered elite and a legitimate contender for the crown.

It's a Process.

Fisher seems to be gaining on it, but having to replace a half dozen assistants might slow it down a bit in 2013. We'll see, won't we?